SAINTE-MARIE-DU-MONT, France – There’s a tiny French hamlet near the Normandy coast with a close connection to Colorado.
Artwork designed, created and crafted in Colorado is on display there. It honors a group of heroes from World War II famously known as the “Band of Brothers.”
A statue outside the town of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France was designed by Colorado artist Stephen Spears, and it was cast at a Loveland sculpture foundry called Art Castings of Colorado.
The statue depicts Maj. Dick Winters, commander of the so-called “Easy Company,” the group of Army soldiers portrayed in the HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers.” The Airborne Division was dropped behind enemy lines early on D-Day, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and made their way through Germany and Austria at the end of the war.
Members of the group liberated Sainte-Marie-du-Mont from the German occupation forces at dawn on D-Day.
Workers at Art Castings of Colorado helped create the sculpture honoring Winters and “Easy Company” a few years ago. It was unveiled in France seven years ago.
“Over the years, we’ve done some really cool stuff, but with Band of Brothers, we felt like we knew Mr. Winters, and it’s just an honor to be able to do work for somebody that means so much to a lot of people and sacrificed a lot for our country,” said Tony Workman, general manager of Art Castings of Colorado.
It is a statue that inspires both the people who visit this sacred spot in France and the craftsmen back home in Colorado who brought the old soldier to life.
“In reality, I have an appreciation for people who have gone to war and sacrificed. You would hope that if you were ever called to do it, you would do the right thing. But because of guys that are over there, most of us haven’t had to find out,” Workman said.
Right now, FOX31 is traveling through France with a group of D-Day veterans. They’re part of a program sponsored by The Greatest Generations Foundation, a Denver-based charity that returns World War II and Vietnam heroes to the battlefields where they once served. The group is staying in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, not far from the statue honoring “Easy Company.”